A driver crashed into a motorcyclist in Bedford several weeks ago, then the driver sped away in broad daylight. Another hit-and-run driver almost got away with it. Fortunately police received tips based on this security video of the horrific accident and arrested a 22 year-old man.
Unfortunately this happens all too often here in Dallas Fort Worth. But you shouldn’t be left holding the bag.
I recently settled two of these cases. A mother and her child were struck by an SUV as they crossed the street and were seriously injured but the driver fled. I was able to obtain all available insurance policies for them. In another, a man was hit walking into a San Antonio restaurant when another young woman hit him with her SUV and took off. Witnesses tracked her down and I made her insurance company pay him a large amount of money.
I’m about to file suit against an Uber driver’s insurance company after he was crashed into in Fort Worth and that driver fled.
Here are some tips on how you can recover your damages.
1. Write down details about the other car
Get as many details as possible including
- License plate number and state
- Make, model and color, and identifying marks
- Driver’s sex, race, general age and any identifying features
- Direction of travel
2. Call the police – do not give chase
You may be tempted to follow the fleeing driver, but chasing after him puts you at risk of another crash and a violent confrontation. Call 911. The officer at the scene will also include your account in an official accident report, a critical document that your attorney will use to prove your case.
3. Locate witnesses and video cameras
Talk to drivers who stop and employees and customers of nearby stores and other businesses. Be sure to get their contact information so a personal injury attorney can call them to testify later. Look for security cameras which may have captured the crash, like the one in Bedford.
4. Take photographs
A picture speaks a thousand words. That cliché holds true when negotiating an injury settlement or arguing a case before a jury. Get out your cell phone and take as many pictures as you are able of the crash scene, your damaged car and your injuries.
5. Seek medical attention ASAP
You may feel okay immediately following a collision but symptoms of injuries often do not manifest until hours or days later. For example, doctors sometimes describe concussions as silent and subtle. Likewise, the pain and stiffness associated with whiplash does not typically appear right away. Not only will medical attention protect your health but a doctor’s examination also creates a vital record of your injuries.
6. File an insurance claim
Hopefully, police will catch the hit-and-run driver. However, don’t wait for that to happen to file your claim. Your insurance policy contains deadlines and any delay could cost you money. You may have purchased uninsured motorist coverage which covers hit-and-run accidents. You may also file claims under your collision, personal injury protection and medical payment insurance.
Even if police arrest the hit-and-run driver, he may not have liability insurance. After all, he fled for a reason, usually the lack of insurance, a suspended or not having a driver’s license, criminal warrants, or lack of citizenship.
7. Consult with a personal injury lawyer
An injury lawyer pursues all available resources to recover compensation including uninsured motorists insurance. If the driver is caught, he can consult with you about filing a lawsuit to recover your damages. The injury attorney may also negotiate with your medical providers to reduce your bills.
These hit and run crashes anger me.
Call my office, Berenson Injury Law, for a free consultation to discuss how to recover your damages.